Minimal Store Design, Minimal Digital Thinking

February 15, 2012 by Dave Haynes

When I read about new concept stores for retailers with big footprints, I’m always interested in seeing how digital screens are integrated – particularly in stores that are all about technology. Lately, we’ve seen a lot of great examples of projects where digital was thoughtfully baked into the design and store dynamics.

Let’s just say the new Verizon Wireless concept store in New Jersey, as reported in, is a bit of a disappointment.

The before photo from this reno project shows the single, forlorn LCD parked high in up in a corner, where few would even see it. So the new design just left it there, hanging from a pole, doing nothing. Sheesh.

It’s frustrating, given that capital costs have dropped so much even modest video walls or big honkin’ display panels could offer the same impact as the big print graphics being used here – and the visuals could be capable of changing as often as needed, and as quickly.  Apple can do the minimalist thing that’s being shamelessly copied here because the company releases a teeny handful of products, if that, each year. They can keep visuals up. Wireless carriers change products and plans constantly. They can’t just put something up and leave it for months, or years.

You start to see real signs that retailers and their design people get it … that they understand the value, the ROI exercise  and the cross-platform marketing thing. And then you see this sort of stuff.

If this is the concept for franchises, then maybe you can kinda sorta vaguely understand that the local guys won’t invest the money in in-store digital so why try much. But for corporate stores …

The bottom line is one little screen parked up in a corner has no impact and therefore no value. The money and time spent developing content for that one little screen would be better spent printing sheets of paper and sticking them on the entry door glass. It will look like hell, but at least it will be noticed.

Ah well … put a hoop on that backboard of a monitor, and you have a place for the sales guys to shoot nerf-ball hoops at when the store’s not busy.

Photos from PocketNow

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